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Year's Best Science Fiction #18

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Once again, the finest short-form SF offerings of the year have been collected in a single volume. With Year’s Best SF 18, acclaimed, award-winning editor and anthologist David G. Hartwell demonstrates the amazing depth and power of contemporary speculative fiction, showcasing astonishing short stories from some of science fiction's most respected names as well as exciting Once again, the finest short-form SF offerings of the year have been collected in a single volume. With Year’s Best SF 18, acclaimed, award-winning editor and anthologist David G. Hartwell demonstrates the amazing depth and power of contemporary speculative fiction, showcasing astonishing short stories from some of science fiction's most respected names as well as exciting new writers to watch. In this anthology, prepare to travel light years from the ordinary into a tomorrow at once breathtaking, frightening, and possible with some of the greatest tales of wonder published in 2012. At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.


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Once again, the finest short-form SF offerings of the year have been collected in a single volume. With Year’s Best SF 18, acclaimed, award-winning editor and anthologist David G. Hartwell demonstrates the amazing depth and power of contemporary speculative fiction, showcasing astonishing short stories from some of science fiction's most respected names as well as exciting Once again, the finest short-form SF offerings of the year have been collected in a single volume. With Year’s Best SF 18, acclaimed, award-winning editor and anthologist David G. Hartwell demonstrates the amazing depth and power of contemporary speculative fiction, showcasing astonishing short stories from some of science fiction's most respected names as well as exciting new writers to watch. In this anthology, prepare to travel light years from the ordinary into a tomorrow at once breathtaking, frightening, and possible with some of the greatest tales of wonder published in 2012. At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.

30 review for Year's Best Science Fiction #18

  1. 4 out of 5

    Alan

    I think it's wonderful that science fiction has become so very mainstream since I first started reading it in the very early 1970s, and writing about it in the 1980s. That wasn't always the case. In fact, one of the better essays I wrote in high school was about the then-prevalent marginalization of SF, entitled "We Have Always Lived in the Ghetto." No longer can litterateurs dismiss SF out of hand, though—although the genre's critics still exist, of course, they have to be much more creative th I think it's wonderful that science fiction has become so very mainstream since I first started reading it in the very early 1970s, and writing about it in the 1980s. That wasn't always the case. In fact, one of the better essays I wrote in high school was about the then-prevalent marginalization of SF, entitled "We Have Always Lived in the Ghetto." No longer can litterateurs dismiss SF out of hand, though—although the genre's critics still exist, of course, they have to be much more creative these days to get any traction. But that broader acceptance did come at a price. From a mainstream perspective, SF appears to be made up mostly of novels—and of novels with cinematic potential, at that. And graphic novels, I guess, although those are often halfway towards being movies as well. But a perspective that ignores short science fiction—the novellas, short stories, even short-shorts that form so much of the genre's history and current output—is overlooking more than half the field. David G. Hartwell doesn't make that mistake. For Year's Best SF 18, Hartwell has chosen dozens of excellent short works published in 2012, from both online and print venues. Not one of them is a clunker, and some of them are likely to stand with the best the field has ever had to offer. Hartwell does constrain himself by drawing a hard line between his definitions of science fiction and other types of fantastic fiction. My own definition is much more... expansive. I prefer to think of "sf" (preferably lowercase) as standing for speculative fiction, that vast field of literature that includes fantasy, magical realism, surrealist and slipstream works, horror, and—yes—even Science Fiction... in other words, every fiction other than those mimetic works that confine themselves—intentionally!—to the here-and-now, or the there-and-then. And even with those, it usually doesn't take much divergence from consensus reality for me to consider a work sfnal in essence. Hartwell's net is made of much finer mesh... but I have to admit that the stories he catches in it are some of the finest in the field. Start with the first piece as an exemplar: "Old Paint," by Megan Lindholm, a story which Charles de Lint also made a point of calling out (though from its appearance in a different best-of-year anthology) in a recent column in Fantasy & Science Fiction magazine. It's a poignant tale of an autonomous vehicle which—as seems entirely plausible to me—comes to exhibit traits we've come to associate with our beloved pets. I agreed with Hartwell that this story is reminiscent of Connie Willis "at her best," and it's an excellent choice to lead off the book. The rest of the stories in this volume—too many good ones to call out individually here—maintain this high level of emotional involvement. Gone are the days when "hard" science fiction meant only puzzle pieces about intrepid engineers (if indeed that was ever really true)... these stories are all nuanced, introspective and intelligent examinations of the impact of technology on real people—or at least on people who feel real. Gone too are the days when such hard-nosed SF was considered to be a male province. Just about half of the stories collected here were written by women, and I don't think Hartwell picked them out of any sense of obligation, either, other than the simple obligation to choose worthwhile fiction. Which is as it should be, of course, but so rarely occurs even today that I think it's worth mentioning. I was also glad to see at least a few names that aren't Anglo-Saxon in an anthology like this one—there are strong stories here by Yoon Ha Lee, Indrapramit Das, Aliette de Bodard and Ken Liu, in and among the Cornells, Reeds, Walkers and Duncans who might be expected to populate these pages. One thing I didn't like—which really seems to be more a function of recent SF trends as a whole than of this anthology in particular—is a strong streak of fatalism. Stories like "The Ghosts of Christmas" (Paul Cornell) and "Glass Future" (Deborah Walker) take the stance that our future is deterministic and unchangeable, a bleak notion of reality on rails that seems at odds with the fundamental optimism of SF, at least to me, though I'm sure it's tempting to adopt such an attitude of "realism" when considering the nature of time. But that's a minor quibble, really—and even the more depressing stories in this anthology are fascinating and well-written. As an overview of the strong and healthy state of short science fiction in the 21st century, the Year's Best SF series and this entry in particular live up to their name.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Graham

    Stories of note in this collection that I haven't called out in other reviews: Sean McMullen's "Electrica", Naomi Kritzer's "Liberty's Daughter", Ken Liu's "Waves", and Michael Swanwick's "The Woman who Shook the Worldtree".

  3. 5 out of 5

    Earl Biringer

    Individual stories rated as follows: 5* - A classic. 4* - A really good story, recommended reading. 3* - A decent story 2* - Not a good story, something seriously inhibited any enjoyment 1* - Unreadable and/or a complete waste of time Lindholm, Megan: “Old Paint” ** Cornell, Paul: “The Ghosts of Christmas” *** Reed, Robert: “Prayer” *** Lee, Yoon Ha: “The Battle of Candle Arc” ** Wolfe, Gene: “Dormanna” *** Arnason, Eleanor: “Holmes Sherlock: A Hwarhath Mystery” *** McMullen, Sean: “Electrica” *** Frieman, C.S Individual stories rated as follows: 5* - A classic. 4* - A really good story, recommended reading. 3* - A decent story 2* - Not a good story, something seriously inhibited any enjoyment 1* - Unreadable and/or a complete waste of time Lindholm, Megan: “Old Paint” ** Cornell, Paul: “The Ghosts of Christmas” *** Reed, Robert: “Prayer” *** Lee, Yoon Ha: “The Battle of Candle Arc” ** Wolfe, Gene: “Dormanna” *** Arnason, Eleanor: “Holmes Sherlock: A Hwarhath Mystery” *** McMullen, Sean: “Electrica” *** Frieman, C.S.: “Perfect Day” *** Barnes, John: “Swift as a Dream and Fleeting as a Sigh” **** Kritzer, Naomi: “Liberty’s Daughter” ** Das, Indrapramit: “Weep for Day” *** Cadigan, Pat: “In Plain Sight” ** Shiner, Lewis: “Application” *** Goonan, Kathleen Ann: “A Love Supreme” *** Duncan, Andy: “Close Encounters” *** de Bodard, Aliette: “Two Sisters in Exile” *** Liu, Ken: “Waves” **** Shaffer, Catherine H: “The North Revena Ladies Literary Society” *** McAuley, Paul: “Antarctica Starts Here” *** Jones, Gwyneth: “Bricks, Sticks, Straw” *** Benford, Gregory: “The Sigma Structure Symphony” *** Walker, Deborah: “Glass Future” *** Ballantyne, Tony: “If Only…” *** Swanwick, Michael: “The Woman Who Shook the World Tree” **** Nagata, Linda: “Nahiku West” *** Pitkin, Joe: “Houseflies” *** North, Nikki J: “Branches on My Back, Sparrows in My Ear” ** Sterling, Bruce: “The Peak of Eternal Light” **

  4. 5 out of 5

    Timons Esaias

    The Year's Best SF 18, edited by David G. Hartwell, was a distinct pleasure to read. The pleasure began with the very first story, "Old Paint." Megan Lindholm tells the story of a family that inherits grandpa's old car, a woody-style station wagon, whose technology is way behind the times. Mom even makes her teenager learn to drive it, rather than just tell it where to go. Very uncool. When the youngster takes it to a shady nano-paint place, and the car catches a nasty virus, well, this tale st The Year's Best SF 18, edited by David G. Hartwell, was a distinct pleasure to read. The pleasure began with the very first story, "Old Paint." Megan Lindholm tells the story of a family that inherits grandpa's old car, a woody-style station wagon, whose technology is way behind the times. Mom even makes her teenager learn to drive it, rather than just tell it where to go. Very uncool. When the youngster takes it to a shady nano-paint place, and the car catches a nasty virus, well, this tale starts taking unexpected turns. John Barnes's "Swift as a Dream and Fleeting as a Sigh" struck my fancy, and since I haven't read much Barnes in the last decade, it also brought back old times. "Two Sisters in Exile" by Aliette de Bodard, "Waves" by Ken Liu, and "Nahiku West" by Linda Nagata (whom I've also missed) were other favorites. Finally, Nikki J. North's story "Branches on My Back, Sparrows in My Ear" is a strong piece on communication between generations. I liked the punch it didn't pull. I found the collection both entertaining and inspiring.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Old Paint: very creative The ghosts of Christmas: wow, crazy Dormanna: makes you wonder about those so-called "imaginary" friends kids have Holmes Sherlock: very creative. Interesting and comprehensive social development of an alien world within a short story Electrica: gothic, Victorian, steampunky. Good story Perfect Day: You can totally understand how this story might be prescient Liberty's Daughter: greatly enjoyed; Weep for Day very creative In plain sight I had a hard time following this one, bu Old Paint: very creative The ghosts of Christmas: wow, crazy Dormanna: makes you wonder about those so-called "imaginary" friends kids have Holmes Sherlock: very creative. Interesting and comprehensive social development of an alien world within a short story Electrica: gothic, Victorian, steampunky. Good story Perfect Day: You can totally understand how this story might be prescient Liberty's Daughter: greatly enjoyed; Weep for Day very creative In plain sight I had a hard time following this one, but the story was good Application HA!! Read it and you'll agree. Clever The North Ravena Ladies Literary Society Reminds me of the movie Red, which I loved. If Only If I could make any story come true in this book, it would be this one. SO PERFECT! :D This isn't all the stories in the book, just the ones I enjoyed the most.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    A much more interesting and carefully curated set of stories than in the last anthology I read (The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year (Volume 7) , also a 2013 collection). Favorites included: "Old Paint," "Perfect Day," "Swift as a Dream and Fleeting as a Sigh," "Liberty's Daughter," "Waves," and....several others. I also realized how much I liked "Close Encounters," one of the stories featured in both anthologies, after reading it a second time. Such a great collection!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Anthony A

    While this book had a number of very good stories, I ranked it number 3 of the four anthologies I read for the 2013-2014 year. The stories I liked a lot were (ranked): - Week for Day (also in the Dozois anthology) - Electrica - The Battle of Candle Arc - The Peak of Eternal Light - The Woman Who Shook the World Tree - Waves

  8. 4 out of 5

    Chris Todd

    While there were a couple of stories in this collection that I didn't care for, there were several stories that I loved so much that I knew I would need to read them a handful of times before I had gotten all that I wanted out of them. After the first read my mind was whirling and wondering what I had missed, at hidden layers of insight. What a wonderful feeling.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Falbs

    Some amazing stories to be found here, and mostly hard sci-fi, which suits me well. "She gave an odd smile, one that wasn't happy and added, "Tough love isn't all it's cracked up to be. Sometimes when you lock the door, the other person never knocks on it again."

  10. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    Being an SF reader for over 50 years, it's sometimes hard for me to find really original stories. David Hartwell has done that. A good collection, ranging from Good to Excellent. I've read a Christmas SF anthology of his, and I certainly plan to seek out his other "Year's Best" books.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jason Arnett

    Another outstanding entry in this excellent series. All the stories take the reader to new and interesting places, sometimes by provoking deeper thought and sometimes with laughter. The sheer amount of diversity among the authors is carried through in the stories themselves. Highly recommended.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Craig

    Most of the stories are easily 4 or 5 stars with only one that I felt deserved less than that. Very, very good collection.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Charl

    Like any collection, there were a couple I loved, a couple that left me wondering why they were written, and the rest were entertaining. The only ones I skipped were ones I'd already read elsewhere.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Joe Karpierz

    This is the second of Hartwell's Year's Best SF that I've read. The last one, the 15th, was somewhat disappointing to me. This collection was significantly better than that one, which I'm pretty sure proves that a year's "best of" collection can only be as good as the fiction that was released in the year that it covers. This 18th edition covers the year of 2012, which, if this collection is representative, was a terrific year for short fiction. As I'm sure most of you have gathered, I don't read This is the second of Hartwell's Year's Best SF that I've read. The last one, the 15th, was somewhat disappointing to me. This collection was significantly better than that one, which I'm pretty sure proves that a year's "best of" collection can only be as good as the fiction that was released in the year that it covers. This 18th edition covers the year of 2012, which, if this collection is representative, was a terrific year for short fiction. As I'm sure most of you have gathered, I don't read a lot of short fiction. I have my hands full reading the novels that are on my to read stack, although there are a bunch of short story collections on my to read stack as well. Wait a minute - can I really only refer to a "stack", since now I have a virtual ton of short story collections in my e-book library as well? But I digress. When I reviewed the 15th edition, I stated, rather pompously I suppose, that the quality of the collection of short stories in existence falls into a bell shaped curve, with a majority of stories being lumped in the middle, being of just "okay" quality, and the remaining fall on either end of the bell curve. I pronounced that to be true after reading that 15th edition. Well, this 18th edition has proved me wrong on that count, with a majority of the stories here being of good and higher quality. Indeed, many of them are outstanding. Outstanding were Gregory Benford's "The Sigma Structure Symphony", an interesting take on first contact via decoding messages via SETI; Megan Lindholm's "Old Paint", a touching story about the effect an intelligent car has on the family that owns it; Yoon Ha Lee's "The Battle of Candle Arc", a terrific piece of military sf; Gwyneth Jones' "Bricks, Sticks, and Straw", a terrific story about virtual personas coming to life and developing independence while out of touch with their real operators back on Earth; Andy Duncan's "Close Encounters", about an old recluse who once had contact with alien visitors; Ken Liu's "Waves", about a generational starship and the price of immortality; and Catherine H. Shaffer's "The North Revena Ladies Literary Society", a wonderful tale about espionage and small town ladies' book clubs. Other enjoyable stories were Aliette de Bodard's "Two Sisters in Exile", about the death of a living ship and the consequences that follow; Lewis Shiner's "Application", a short, quick and biting story that warns us about our treatment of our computing devices; and Bruce Sterling's "The Peak of Eternal Light", which gives us a glimpse of a very strange human colony on Mercury. All the remaining stories, save one, are enjoyable as well, although those that I've listed here are the ones that stood out for me. The only one that I thought was a clunker was Joe Pitkin's "Houseflies". Let me rephrase that; in my opinion, it was a clunker. Hartwell and the original publisher, Cosmos, obviously saw something in this story that I didn't. Still, a terrific collection. It just might drive me into reading more short story collections in the future. Goodness knows I have a large, uh, collection of them.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tanabrus

    Essendo una raccolta di racconti, il voto è la media dei vari racconti. Old Paint, di Megan Lindholm: 4 Toccante, delicato e piacevolissimo. The ghosts of Christmas, di Paul Cornell: 3 Un bel racconto che richiama Dickens e i paradossi temporali. Prayer, di Robert Reed: 2 Sarebbe un racconto interessante, ma resta troppo aperto... incompiuto. The battle of Candle Arc, di Yoon Ha Lee: 2 Racconto oscuro (nei termini e nel significato) che richiama troppo a possibili progetti futuri. Incompiuto come raccon Essendo una raccolta di racconti, il voto è la media dei vari racconti. Old Paint, di Megan Lindholm: 4 Toccante, delicato e piacevolissimo. The ghosts of Christmas, di Paul Cornell: 3 Un bel racconto che richiama Dickens e i paradossi temporali. Prayer, di Robert Reed: 2 Sarebbe un racconto interessante, ma resta troppo aperto... incompiuto. The battle of Candle Arc, di Yoon Ha Lee: 2 Racconto oscuro (nei termini e nel significato) che richiama troppo a possibili progetti futuri. Incompiuto come racconte a sé stante. Dormanna, di Gene Wolfe: 4 Racconto breve e tenero, molto bello. Holmes Sherlock: a Hwarhath mystery ,di Eleanor Arnason: 3 Storia leggera ma in grado di intrattenere piacevolmente. Electrica, di Sean McMullen: 5 Splendido racconto che sembra quasi una sorta di Cryptonomicon fantascientifico. Perfect Day, di Frieman: 1 Non è un racconto, punto. Swift as a dream and fleeting as a sigh, di John Barnes: 2 Carino ma non dice nulla. Liberty's daughter, di Naomi Kritzer: 3 Ambientazione interessante per un racconto YA con sfondo sci-fi Weep for day, di Indrapramit Das: 4 Una bella storia e un mondo affascinante. In plain sight, di Pat Cadigan: 1 Accumula misteri e domande per poi chiudere di botto, troncando tutto, senza nemmeno accennare a possibili risposte. Bocciato. Application, di Lewis Shiner: 3 Brevissimo ma carino e arguto. A love supreme, di Kathleen Ann Goonan: 2 Scialbo Close encounters, di Andy Duncan: 4 Piacevolissimo racconto sugli avvistamenti UFO dei bei tempi che furono Two sisters in exile, di Aliette de Bodard: 4 Bel racconto con astronavi senzienti, imperi decaduti e imperi in ascesa. Wavers, di Ken Liu: 3 Una bella storia di scelte personali e di evoluzione umana. The North Revena Ladies Literary Society, di Catherine Shaffer. 4 Racconto intrigante, sarebbe un ottimo prequel per una storia postapocalittica. Antarctica starts here, di Paul McAuley: 2 Scialbo Bricks, Sticks, Straw, di Gwyneth Jones: 2 Tematica interessante, ma lo sviluppo non mi ha catturato per niente. The Sigma Structure Symphony, di Gregory Benford: 4 Un buon racconto basato su numeri, psicologia e musica. Glass future, di Deborah Walker: 4 La vita difficile di chi conosce il proprio futuro. If only..., di Tony Ballantyne: 2 Breve, ironico e dimenticabile. The woman who shook the World Tree, di Michael Swanwick: 3 Molto carino, ma la parte scientifica è un po' troppo oscura e incomprensibile. Nahiku West, di Linda Nagata: 5 Ambientazione solidissima, trama avvincente e storia poliziesca a tinte sci-fi. Houseflies, di Joe Pitkin: 2 Mi ha ricordato Bacigalupi: ottima ambientazione ma storia che non mi prende. Branches on my back, sparrows in my ear, di Nikki North: 2 Idea buona, esecuzione povera. The peak of eternal light, di Bruce Sterling: 5 Eccellente racconto, privo di trama, che ci mostra la vita su Mercurio.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lance Schonberg

    The third “year’s best” collection I’ve picked up this year, this one being the last of the David Hartwell collections. I think his health was in decline even while he put this volume together. There wasn’t a volume in 2014 or 2015, and he died unexpectedly early this year. I have a solid dozen of the books in this series, going back to the first one, picked up when I worked in a bookstore, and at least half a dozen in the Year’s Best Fantasy collections he did as well as other, unrelated collec The third “year’s best” collection I’ve picked up this year, this one being the last of the David Hartwell collections. I think his health was in decline even while he put this volume together. There wasn’t a volume in 2014 or 2015, and he died unexpectedly early this year. I have a solid dozen of the books in this series, going back to the first one, picked up when I worked in a bookstore, and at least half a dozen in the Year’s Best Fantasy collections he did as well as other, unrelated collection. With that background, I expected a wide variety of stories, and I certainly got that. Standouts: 1. “Prayer” by Robert Reed - Semi-apocalyptic society with a variety of climate disasters and wars in progress as the US has occupied Canada. Canada is involved in a guerilla war, of course, and the Almighty (formerly the Internet) may have achieved consciousness to become a faction of its own in the struggle. I feel like this is part of a larger world. There are a lot of unanswered questions. 2. “Holmes Sherlock: A Hwarhath Mystery” by Eleanor Arnason - Sherlock Holmes recast as a furry alien lesbian, given a murder mystery tinged with alien social-sexual mores. Interesting and fun with the not quite human aliens being aware of, and at war with, humans. The war doesn't really have much to do with the story, however, just part of the background. 3. “Electrica” by Sean McMullen - Not exactly steampunk. Set during the Napoleonic wars, a code breaker matches his skill and intellect against an aristocrat who can only be called a mad scientist. Mix in an ancient evil (sort of evil) and stir gently. Fun and quick to read. 4. “Weep for Day” by Indrapramit Das – A world just a little bit like our own when it comes to humans and how our society might develop, but with the twist of it being tidally locked. We live on one side of the terminator and creatures of darkness live on the other. We’re entering the industrial age, and they’re not. 5. “Two Sisters in Exile” by Aliette de Bodard – A story in the Xuya universe about how a misinterpretation of a cultural difference can lead to a misunderstanding of disastrous proportions. The ending makes for a worrying future. Overall rating: 2.96, rounding, of course, to 3 stars. With three “best of” collections so far coming in at 3 stars, I’m starting to notice a trend. Quite a large number of stories I rated at 2 in this anthology, plus a couple of 1s. The standouts are all 4s to my reading, but there wasn’t one story that completely blew me away, which is a bit disappointing.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Rena Sherwood

    I have to admit, I was getting pretty depressed by science fiction anthologies published in recent years, but Year's Best SF 18 was a real eye-opener. There's some classic SF (or will be considered classic in the future) being published by new writers. I found the selections from the writers I never heard of better than the old-timers like Gene Wolfe (who did a short, overly sentimental piece) and "In Plain Sight" by Pat Cadigan (who had a great set-up but not much else.) Other than these (thoro I have to admit, I was getting pretty depressed by science fiction anthologies published in recent years, but Year's Best SF 18 was a real eye-opener. There's some classic SF (or will be considered classic in the future) being published by new writers. I found the selections from the writers I never heard of better than the old-timers like Gene Wolfe (who did a short, overly sentimental piece) and "In Plain Sight" by Pat Cadigan (who had a great set-up but not much else.) Other than these (thoroughly readable) blips, the anthology was spot-on. Hartwell also does a much better intro than Gardner Dozois. (Sorry, Gardner.) I especially liked "Close Encounters" just because it spoke to the girl that I was in 1977 and sometimes wish I could still be. For Sherlock Holmes fans, there is a Sherlock Holmes inspired piece titled "Holmes Sherlock: A Hwarhath Mystery" that is better than 50% of the pastiches published. I also was attracted to Naomi Kritzer's "Liberty's Daughter" as the most possible future that we're headed for. It was good to see an editor of a real-word book series include some of the great online work that really deserves a bigger audience. Short-short fiction was also included, with "Application" by steampunk pioneer Lewis Steiner. Writers came from all over the world (with many Asian-centric stories.) Indian author Indrapramit Das includes a very good and very disturbing look at Nightmares in "Weep for Day."

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kaa

    I read about half of the stories in the collection. I enjoyed most of them, some more than others. A few favorites were "Weep for Day", "Waves", and "The Woman Who Shook the World Tree."

  19. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    Another good year. There are no stand out short stories as there have been in previous volumes--e.g. Bradley Denton's "Sergeant Chip", David Langford's "Different Kinds of Darkness", or Alastair Reynold's "Beyond the Aquila Rift"--but all the stories are still decent, entertaining reads. I've been reading this series yearly for over a decade and was a bit worried this year when they moved to trade paperback, removed Kathryn Cramer as one of the editors, and pushed the publication date back severa Another good year. There are no stand out short stories as there have been in previous volumes--e.g. Bradley Denton's "Sergeant Chip", David Langford's "Different Kinds of Darkness", or Alastair Reynold's "Beyond the Aquila Rift"--but all the stories are still decent, entertaining reads. I've been reading this series yearly for over a decade and was a bit worried this year when they moved to trade paperback, removed Kathryn Cramer as one of the editors, and pushed the publication date back several months, but this doesn't seem to have affected this year's edition negatively. I continue to look forward to volume 19 in 2015.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Joyce

    This rating is pretty subjective--there were just certain stories that didn't interest me, that other people probably would love. But the stories that did? Wow. "Old Paint", "Christmas Day", "The Woman Who Shook the World Tree"...all glimpses into potential futures that are by turns dark, curious, slightly scary, and beautiful. If you like the kind of books I like, it's worth picking up for those alone.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Gregoire

    collection de nouvelles sf sans thème particulier toutes de 2012 Une bonne façon de se familiariser avec le style des auteurs publiés et d'en découvrir des moins connus- mais aussi talentueux - ma note représente une moyenne entre les coups de cœur et les plus décevants mais qui n'engage que moi

  22. 5 out of 5

    Gardy (Elisa G)

    Tra gli ultimi volumi antologici proposti da Urania, questo è di gran lunga il peggiore. Qualcosina si salverebbe anche, ma a questo punto conviene orientarsi su volumi dalla selezione più felice (cfr: Nove Inframondi).

  23. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    Some stories were good; some not so good. For example, "Old Paint" was wonderful while the story about the ladies literary society seemed to have been written by a high school student and had a glaring time error (a meeting that was to be in one week suddenly became "next month" when it occured.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    I liked most of the stories and a couple were great. Suffers from usual anthology unevenness, and especially the annoyance of getting used to a fictional universe only to be dumped into the next one very shortly. Used it for a science fiction survey course.

  25. 5 out of 5

    John Everard Griffith

    This is not my kind of science fiction. I realize that the genre is changing, expanding with so many different influences of many difference influences on human development...but I still like space travel an speculation. Not much of that here.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Amy Peavy

    Wow, I finished this one a while ago.. I wonder when.. June? This had a lot of good stories in it. A great purchase for $2.00

  27. 4 out of 5

    Doug

    A very strong collection of stories this year; there wasn't a single one that I didn't enjoy.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Eug

    not as good as dozois anthologies. enjoyed the stories by Gregory Benford, Ken Liu, and Bruce Sterling.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Tintaglia

    Old paint, di Megan Lindholm ***** Waves, di Ken Liu *****

  30. 5 out of 5

    Aneil

    A few good stories, especially The Sigma Structure, but mostly dull, typical dystopian fare that is not worth one's time.

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